June 14, 2021

Ultra cyclist @caro_sbx shares her tried and tested fuel plans for a 200km event with Buzz Power.

"Whether it’s your first 100 miles or 1000km, if you're looking to ride your first ultra-distance cycling event, you need to consider your food intake carefully!

On average, it is best to consume around 30g of carbohydrates per 30 minutes*. However, this is just a number; you need to figure out what works best for you.

(*One sachet of Buzz Power contains 24g of natural carbohydrate - glucose and fructose.)

There are a few ways to do that:

  1. Start training regularly for your event. It’s less about speed but more about time in the saddle. Do a long ride before work and back-to-back ride at the weekend. You can also ride a shorter time in the morning and then one at lunch or in the evening. If you're crunched for time, a turbo trainer ride can be just as good: if anything, it will be a good mental challenge.
  2. Train with race conditions in mind. Where will you find food on your route? Will you have a café break? Do you need to carry all your fuel?
  3. Test the food you intend to use while training. Look at each items' carb content: you don't have to be number obsessed, but if you notice you start bonking, despite eating regularly, you might have chosen the wrong source of carbohydrates for your needs.

When choosing your fuel, you need to keep in mind that in endurance events, your guts are not be able to process food the way they normally do. Your body will mobilise blood flow around your legs and away from your guts, so they will not be able to absorb food as well as usual. This is why you can get bloated and uncomfortable. Therefore, it is really important to find the best food for your needs and tolerance.

Be careful with sugar and caffeine crashes. Gels and candies are always a good call if you feel you are on your limit, but in endurance you should be riding within yourself and avoid eating gels like there is no tomorrow. You should keep your sugar levels constants but not too high either. It is good to mix some naturally occurring sugars with fats and proteins and salt: a trail mix with salty nuts, dried fruits and chocolate is great for this!

Below is an example of what I ate during my last 200km training ride. My plan was to avoid stopping so I had all my food with me and ate on the bike:

Breakfast: A coffee with oat milk, and a big bowl of porridge with almond milk, cinnamon and a big table spoon of raw honey.

On bike: 1 banana, 4 Buzz Power Organic Honey Energy Gels, 4 cereals bars, 1 pack of crisps, 2 bags of apple & banana purée, 1 big bag of trail mix to nibble on, 1 home-made ploughmen's sandwich (tricky to eat on the bike, but feasible!)

In my bidons:

1 bidon with water, apple juice, and 5 spoon of raw honey;
1 bidon with water;
1 bidon with water and an electrolyte tablet.

Post ride: 1 glass of milk, one toast with butter and marmite, and 2 fried eggs with tomatoes.

On long rides, I don’t always end up eating all the food I take with me but the rule is: think of all you will eat, take more, then take even more!

And remember: endurance takes time! With practise, your body will adapt and need less fuel to ride long distance. But, to start with, eat a lot! Your body will thank you!"

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